Ravenna Koenig, Alaska's Energy Desk - Fairbanks

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U.S. Air Force ‘barren lands’ survival course teaches how to stay alive in Arctic wilderness

Survival course trainees are exposed to subzero temperatures and winds that gust up to 30-plus miles an hour. “They don’t go back inside after they come out here and begin the training,” said instructor Sgt. Garrett Wright.

With spring whaling around the corner, sinew thread makers are hard at work

“Everything just falls into place,” says Nancy Leavitt of the hard work involved in sinew thread making. “The problems, the stress, the thoughts you have. Most of them just disappear.”

Interior Dept. kicks off new round of meetings on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Some people at the meeting expressed concern about the process. Lisa Baraff with the Northern Alaska Environmental Center said that the timeline BLM has been using for their environmental review is too short.

‘Life is going to spring back to us’: the sun returns to Utqiaġvik

“Life is going to spring back to us,” said Robin Mongoyak. “Spring is coming, summer is around the corner. Birds when they come in big flocks, it’s like thousands of people coming to greet us.”

After struggling for years to clean up its air, Fairbanks still faces contentious wood smoke problem

For years, Fairbanks and neighboring city North Pole have had some of the worst air quality in the United States. The area has been failing to meet a federal air quality standard since 2009 — now it's reached the deadline.

State of Alaska issues two key permits for Donlin mine

Along with the reclamation plan approval, the state also increased the amount of money Donlin Gold will be required to put down ahead of time for the mine’s cleanup.

Polar bear encounter reported in Arctic Village, many miles south of normal range

Polar bear researcher Eric Regehr says that in individual cases like this, it’s very difficult to attribute cause to why a bear wandered so far from its typical area.

Fairbanks’ famously severe cold snaps are getting less cold and more rare

Over the last 80-some years, there’s been a noticeable change in Fairbanks: The more recent cold snaps haven’t been as cold, and they’re occurring less frequently than they used to.

Japan whaling decision may have consequences for Alaska subsistence whalers

Last month Japan announced that it is leaving the international group that regulates whaling and will resume commercial whaling in its own coastal waters.

Adding insulation to the outside of your home? Watch out for mold.

At the Cold Climate Housing Research Center in Fairbanks, there’s an experiment underway to try to find a cheaper way to make that kind of retrofit while still keeping risk of mold low.

Arctic Report Card: 2018 was the Arctic’s second-warmest year on record

The document looks at seven big categories — the Arctic’s so-called “vital signs.” Those include things like snow cover, the condition of the Greenland ice sheet, and sea ice conditions.

Reactions from Utqiaġvik on a whaling quota rule change: ‘We don’t have to beg anymore’

This year, the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission and the U.S. government put forward a new proposal that would change how the International Whaling Commission renews its quota. It passed.

Science and traditional knowledge converge in North Slope Borough’s bowhead whale program

Scientists have spent the past few decades catching up to traditional knowledge, documenting scientifically what whale hunters already knew. Like the fact that the whales can smell, and that they can travel under sea ice.

New study says Chukchi polar bears are healthy despite sea ice loss — for now

“Unless the underlying problem of climate change is addressed, the sea ice is expected to continue to diminish,” said polar bear researcher Eric Regehr. “And at some point that will likely have a negative effect on the bears in this Chukchi area.”

In a warming Arctic, October in Utqiaġvik presents an especially striking picture

Billy Adams, a hunter in his 50s, says that when he was growing up in Utqiagvik, there was almost always ice attached to the shore by now. Listen now

Fall whaling in Utqiaġvik: joy, excitement and this year, mourning too

Whaling Captain Crawford Patkotak says many in the community are still mourning the loss of two whalers in an accident this season, but the overarching dedication to continuing the tradition of whaling remains strong. Listen now

A warming Arctic means a change of plans for offshore drilling project

As the Arctic warms, Hilcorp is already having to tweak its proposal to accommodate climate change. And future companies looking to drill offshore in the Arctic may have additional changes to plan for. Listen now

Alaskans rally in support of youth climate lawsuit, currently in limbo

“This is no longer a scientific issue, it’s not a scientific question. It’s a moral and spiritual issue,” said Tom Baring of Fairbanks, the father of one of the plaintiffs. Listen now

Two Utqiaġvik whaling crew members die in apparent whaling accident

North Slope Borough Mayor Harry K. Brower Jr. said that the Borough is not releasing details about the incident until all the facts are gathered and all family members have been notified. Listen now

In Interior Alaska, reinvestment in coal power runs counter to national trend

Even after decades of talk about getting affordable natural gas to the Interior, Fairbanks as of yet has only a limited supply of natural gas. And unlike many other places in the country, it’s not price-competitive with coal. Listen now